Types of Software Testing

UAT vs. Usability. White Box vs. Black Box. Smoke vs. Sanity...
Learn more about all the different types of software testing methodologies from our list below.

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There are many different types of software testing. Each method has a different purpose and provides a unique value to the software development process. Not every type of software testing is always used. The type of software testing you do depends on your team, the complexity and functionality of your software, and the overall objective.

Types of software testing

Software testing is the process of validating an application and it’s components function as required. This process involves making sure the system does not contain bugs, and that it works as expected. Here are some of the most common types of software testing used today. While this is far from a complete list, hopefully it provides a clearer understanding of the differences in some of the most common types of software testing methods.

The Different Types of Software Testing:

  • A/B Testing

    A/B Testing, sometimes referred to as split testing, is the act of comparing two variables against each other and observing which of the two performs better.

    Read more about A/B testing
  • Beta Testing

    A type of User Acceptance Testing, Beta Testing, also known as “field testing”, is done in the customer’s environment. Beta testing is commonly used for brand new features and products. The purpose of beta testing is to provide access to users who then provide feedback, which helps improve the application. Beta testing often involves a limited number of users.

  • Black Box Testing

    The purpose of black box testing is to validate the behavior of the software from an end-user perspective. Inputs and outputs are compared to the expected output. Detailed knowledge of the internal workings, architecture, and code are not necessary.

    Read more about black box testing
  • Cross Browser Testing

    Cross browser testing is the process of comparing a website or web application’s functionality and design across multiple web browsers and platforms to ensure consistent behavior and functionality for the end-user.

    Read more about cross browser testing
  • Exploratory Testing

    Exploratory Testing combines elements of learning and testing into a single initiative. Exploratory testing is often done by QA testers, but it's not uncommon for other roles to be involved with this type of testing including developers, end users, and customer support representatives.

    Read more about exploratory testing
  • Functional Testing

    Functional testing is a type of black box testing where the tester validates the functionalities of the software system work as required and expected. This type of testing is based on the user’s perspective. Functional testing focuses on what the software does, not how it does it.

    Read more about functional testing
  • Load Testing

    Often automated, load testing tests the response to high demand on the software. In other words; what happens when a significant number of people login to your application at the same time? Load testing ensures your software is ready for prime time.

  • Negative Testing

    The purpose of negative testing is to make sure your application can gracefully handle the input of invalid data and unexpected user behavior. This type of software testing helps improve overall quality of the software application by uncovering weak points and missed scenarios. Negative testing can also be considered positive testing for error conditions.

    Read more about negative testing
  • Nonfunctional Testing

    Testing is typically broken up into two types; functional testing and nonfunctional testing. Nonfunctional testing tests non-functional requirements… How does the system perform? How secure is it? How user-friendly is it? All of these things contribute to the overall quality of the software application.

  • Pair Testing

    Sometimes, two is better than one. Pair testing is when two people are paired together to conduct a test. One person should be running the mouse and keyboard, and the other should be taking notes and recording different scenarios. Pair testing can often uncover issues/questions that wouldn’t typically be discovered with a single tester.

    Read more about pair testing
  • Performance Testing

    Performance Testing evaluates how fast a system responds to a specific scenario. This type of testing, similar to Load Testing, helps determine the responsiveness, reliability, and scalability of a certain are of the application.

    Read more about performance testing
  • Regression Testing

    The purpose of regression testing is to ensure new features or other code changes have not introduced any bugs. Many teams tend to automate regression tests to save time.

    Read more about regression testing
  • Sanity Testing

    The purpose of Sanity Testing is to quickly validate a system is up and running. These tests are typically very minimal and basic.

  • Security Testing

    Security testing is often conducted by a team of experienced testers specializing in networking and technology systems. The main purpose of security testing is to test for holes in authentication, confidentiality of data, and how the system will react to a malicious attack.

  • Smoke Testing

    The term “smoke testing” was being used long before the software industry adopted it. Plumbers used to use smoke to test for leaks and cracks in pipe systems. In software, smoke testing is a high-level test that validates the basic functions of an application. The purpose of smoke testing is to expose failures critical enough to halt the release of software.

    Read more about smoke testing
  • UAT Testing

    Short for User Acceptance Testing, UAT focuses on the functionality and usability of the application. The main objective of UAT is to verify the application meets the business requirements. UAT is typically the final phase of testing before bringing the application into production and therefore one of the most important types of software testing.

    Read more about uat testing
  • Unit Testing

    Unit testing is often automated and involves testing single functions (units) of the code in order to help identify failures or weaknesses in algorithms. The nature of unit testing helps promote writing code that is easy to test.

  • Usability Testing

    Usability testing tests the “user-friendliness” of the software. Usability testing involves observing the behavior and emotional reaction of the user. Do they like using the software? Are they frustrated? Confused? The feedback from these tests is then used to make changes and improvements to the usability of the application.

    Read more about usability testing
  • White Box Testing

    The opposite of black box testing, white box testing is a method of testing where the tester knows the internal workings of the system. This approach to testing often focuses primarily on improving security and optimizing input/output flows.

    Read more about white box testing

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